How To

App Review: iStat Menus

A quick review of a desktop app I love for keeping tabs on my stats. My computer stats.

It’s a simple question. If the meeting is held at noon Pacific time, what time is it UTC? The answer is 1900 hours.

The reason for the question is complicated. I work with people around the world. My family lives in a multitude of timezones, some across the date line. I travel a lot. I need to know when ‘now’ is, and I need to know when ‘now’ is for someone else all the time.

Enter iStat Menus for Mac.

It’s not actually meant for what I use it for. iStat Menus is to help you make a menu item on your Mac that shows you some interesting stats. I can see, at a glance, how strong my wifi really is, or my computer’s temperature (I’m on a MacBook Air, so this is important). I can look at how much memory I’m using to quickly see why things are slow. It gives me quick links to deep dive into things. It’s wonderful when I’m testing new apps and I can see that, yes that one is slow slow slow.

An example of iStat Menu showing me my CPU details

But the side benefit for me is how it replaces the Time and Date Menu in my Apple menu bar. When I click on the time, I get this:

Time and Date menu replacement in my toolbar

I get my month at a glance, a list of everything for today (including birthdays which I blocked out for you) and then it lists what time it is now in various place. If I hover over each time, I get more details including a Mercator map showing where daylight is right now and relative other places people care about. For $18 I’m able to keep track and know “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t ping someone on social media when it’s 2am for them…” For that alone it would be worth it, but the rest have become invaluable to debugging why my laptop was rebooting randomly.

If you just need the basic stats, iStat Mini is pretty brilliant. And it’s free.